RAMALLAH, August 30 (JMCC) - The Palestinian bid for statehood at the United Nations is being driven by a Palestinian policy document drafted by numerous leading figures, writes Haaretz
The plan advocates a legal strategy that begins with the United Nations and moves on to the International Criminal Court. If these avenues are closed, say the report's authors, the Palestinian Authority should consider closing its offices and turning responsibility for the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip back over to Israel.
The wording of the draft, crafted in recent days by the Fatah leadership, is designed to enable even “problematic” countries such as Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic to climb on board, or at least abstain.
This version will make it difficult for the United States and the Marshall Islands, and even for Israel, to explain their votes against the proposal. Instead of recognizing Palestine within the 1967 borders, it will state that the permanent borders will be determined in negotiations with Israel based on the borders of June 4, 1967. This approach made it possible to enlist the support of leading moderates in Hamas, who claim that recognition of the 1967 borders before the signing of a final-status deal means waiving the claim to the right of return.
Several of those people are signatories to a new strategic position paper, drafted by more than 50 Palestinian government officials, researchers and advisers ? members of the Palestine Strategy Group. This is the forum that in 2008 composed a document recommending that the leadership transfer the conflict to the United Nations.
Most of the document’s authors support the option of an independent Palestinian state within the 1967 borders, with Jerusalem as its capital and a fair arrangement that will fulfill the right of return and the compensation of the Palestinian refugees. The document rejects the possibility of continuing the status quo, maintaining that the endless negotiations provide cover for expanding the settlements and consolidating the occupation. The authors also erase from the agenda the option of a Palestinian state with temporary borders and limited sovereignty, under effective Israeli control.
If the strategy of a diplomatic struggle for Palestinian independence ? including sanctions, turning to the International Criminal Court and nonviolent resistance as in Egypt and Tunisia ? does not change the situation, the group recommends switching to what the document calls Plan B: dismantling the Palestinian Authority and restoring responsibility for the West Bank’s inhabitants to Israel. The authors are not ignoring the price their public would pay for that, but wonder what honorable option would remain.